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her sister republics, the benefit of diency of such a meeting, in itself, our experience in the great school it would seem that there could be of international politics. To refuse but one opinion as to the duty of our attendance at the congress, our attendance at the congress, to when urged on this ground, would correct the pernicious tendency be to neglect to seize, perhaps, the which it may be feared to have. fairest opportunity which the history To neglect to attend the congress, of the world ever afforded, of giv- because it was a combination of ing a wide and prompt diffusion to unfriendly aspect, would be to negliberal doctrines of public law. It lect the ordinary preparations of would certainly put it out of our defence, precisely because there power to complain of any policy was danger of war. Viewing the these states might adopt, however congress at Panama in this unfavorunfriendly toward our interests, and able light, (for which, however, the however vicious in principle. committee apprehend there is no

"Such are the views of the com- reason,) no administration of the mittee, with respect to the several executive government would stand classes of subjects which will be justified to the country, without discussed at this congress. It is taking measures, most promptly, to a very obvious reflection, that our be informed of its proceedings. If attendance may have a powerful ef- not invited, to send authorised and fect in giving a character to the as- accredited ministers, it would have sembly itself. Our presence is par- been their duty to send private ticularly requested by one of the political agents. new states, who have joined in the “ The committee have felt it their invitation on the ground of the duty to consider this question, chief“importance and respectability' ly on strict grounds of political exwhich would thence attach to the pediency, and in reference to the congress. The committee do not principle of our diplomatic interforesee the possibility that,under any course. They, however, accord circumstances, the congress could in sentiment with the president, become an inconvenient or danger- that a sufficient inducement to acous assembly. But if it be thought cept the invitation would have been by any one, that evil consequences to meet in the spirit of kindness are likely to flow from it, the pros- and friendship, an overture made pect of such consequences would in that spirit by three sister repubfurnish new reasons why we should lics of this hemisphere. It will be represented at it. Whatever not escape the consideration of this opinions may be held of the expe- house, that the conduct of the

United States, toward the new re- well weighed, and at length receivpublics, has ever been regulated by ed its sanction in the unanimous the maxims of a frank and liberal voice of this house, and the acclapolicy. Had we acted toward mations of the people. From this them, even as we have felt it our policy it is now too late to recede. duty to act toward Europe, our We cannot now do much to obcourse would have been essentially struct the growth of the new states; different. Had our feelings toward we can do every thing to conciliate them been the same as those which and attach them, or to estrange and our political fathers have inculcated disgust them. The first course toward Europe, we should certainly will promote the general cause of have regarded it rather as an evil liberty, will perpetuate friendly rethan a benefit, that so many new lations between the two great porrepublics, of which the greater part tions of this continent, to the mumust be powerful states, are rising tual advantage of both ; and will into existence on the same side of render us more and more indepenthe water as ourselves. We are dent of Europe. The latter course henceforward to be without that will tend to revive in the new world, which has formerly been regarded the false and pernicious maxims of as the great bulwark of our national the old ; to teach neighboring resecurity, our geographical distance publics to fix on each other the fafrom every other powerful state. tal name of natural enemies ; to But we have not hesitated to break create piratical and border wars ; down this bulwark. We have gone to generate systems of exclusion ; to meet and welcome the new re- and, finally, to establish, in this publics. We have ourselves assist- hemisphere, those political princied to exchange weak colonial, for ples and habits which have caused powerful sovereign neighbors. As the downfall of so many foreign far as it depended on us, we have states, made so many others stationchosen to place the regions, on our ary and languishing, and checked immense southwestern frontier, be- the growth of all. We are now neath the government of vigorous to consider, whether we will take republican institutions, instead of the first step in an unfriendly and having them under the safe and en- repulsive policy, by refusing to acervating despotism of Spain. In cept the courteous invitation of the judgment of the committee, this three most respectable neighborhas been a sound, a great, an auspi- ing governments, tendered in a cious policy. It was not rashly manner equally creditable to their adopted ; it was long deliberated, delicacy, and flattering to the United States. Nothing but a certain- resolution was taken into consideraty of pernicious consequences to tion by a committee of the whole result from our attendance at the house, on the state of the union; congress, would, in the opinion of and Mr. M’Lane, of Delaware, the committee, be sufficient to jus- submitted the following amendtify our refusal to accept such an ment to it, viz : in . invitation. As our attendance at “ It being understood as the opithe congress, instead of being pre- nion of this house, that, as it has judicial to the public interests, is, always been the settled policy of in the judgment of the committee, this government, in extending our a measure of the most obvious po. commercial relations with foreign litical expediency ; as it is stipu, nations, to have with them as litlated to bring into no hazard the tle political connection as possible, neutrality of the United States; as to preserve peace, commerce, and all fears of an entangling alliance friendship, with all nations, and to have been shown to be unfounded; form entangling alliances with in a word, as the congress will be none; the ministers who may be regarded by the executive of the sent, shall attend at the said conUnited States, as purely a consulta- gress in a diplomatic character tive meeting ; and as the objects merely; and ought not be authorof consultation are of primary im- ised to discuss, consider, or conportance to the country, the com- sult upon any proposition of allimittee on foreign affairs are of opi- ance, offensive or defensive, benion that the mission to Panama tween this country and any of the ought to receive the sanction of Spanish American governments, or the house of representatives; and any stipulation, compact, or declathey accordingly recommend the ration, binding the United States adoption of the following resolu- in any way, or to any extent, to retion:

sist interference from abroad, with - Resolved, That, in the opinion the domestic concerns of the aforeof the house, it is expedient to ap- said governments; or any measure propriate the funds necessary to which shall commit the present or enable the president of the Uni- future neutral rights or duties of. ted States to send ministers to the these United States, either as may congress of Panama.”

regard European nations, or beImmediately after the close of tween the several states of Mexico the debate, upon Mr. M’Duffie's and South America : leaving the resolution, to amend the constitu- United States free to adopt, in any . tion. viz. the third of April, this event which may happen, affecting

the relations of the South Ameri- per not to assume the whole re, can governments, with each other, sponsibility. He asks this house or with foreign nations, such mea- to share it with him. Such was sures as the friendly disposition his construction of the message. cherished by the American people He was not about to censure this towards the people of those states, caution. The measure was of a and the honor and interest of this nature to require prudence : but it nation may require.”

is nevertheless true, that it is thus This amendment produced an sent to the house, and the house animated and interesting debate, must express an opinion. We canin which the whole policy of the not make the appropriation, without measure was freely criticised, and becoming parties to the measure. ably defended.

- The president has asked for our Mr. M'Lane said, that he had opinion ; and it is due to him, and endeavored to embody in this to the country, that such opinion amendment, all those principles, should be expressed. by which the foreign intercourse of His object in offering this amendthe country had been governed. ment was, not to embarrass the meaHe thought the subject of great sure, nor to tie up the hands of the importance, and standing without executive. It is, on the contrary, the sanction of any precedent. He to give him full latitude. It is to would not condemn the measure; but give our opinion. He may, neverstill it came before the house under theless, act according to his own such circumstances, as to call for de- discretion, notwithstanding our opiliberation ; and when the house did nion ; but it will then be upon his act, it should act free from all own responsibility. If our opinion influence of the executive. This differs from his, it will be of seris the more necessary ; because the vice ; and if it should be the same, house is called upon to share the it will do no harm. It will, on the responsibility of the measure. contrary, sustain him in the eye of · If the president, after the senate other nations. There are notions had confirmed the nomination, had now floating in the public imaginacome to this house simply for an tion, the tendency of which is to appropriation, he would have mislead our foreign functionaries ; granted it without much inquiry; and it is proper that they should be because the responsibility would brought into form, so that we may have rested, where the constitution determine upon their correctness. placed it,-upon the president. Ever since the memorable message But the executive has thought pro- of Mr. Monroe, in 1823, he had

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observed these misconstructions, to say, that he did not entirely con. and the sentiments prevailing cur in the opinions of the commitamong the people,-sentiments tee of foreign relations. He did which this house might be unwill not consider this congress as a ing to sustain.

mere deliberative, diplomatic asWhat did that declaration sembly. He believed its deliberamean! Was it held out in terro- tions would be binding on all the

governments, that were representYou hold out the idea, that any ed there, without any subsequent interference on the part of the Eu- action on their part. If not, he ropean powers, except Spain, with could not perceive, what advanthe South American nations, will tage would be derived from this be resisted by the United States. assembly. It is held under the auAre we prepared to act upon that thority of treaties, and is vested declaration, if such interference with the powers of peace and war, should take place? It would ill - and to give effect to those treaties; become us to say, that we had no and every power present will be as serious intention, when we held much bound by its acts, as if under such language in the face of the the obligation of specific treaties. world.

He did not say this in condemnaThe topic has now assumed a tion of the measure. Whatever graver character. It is about to may be the character of this conbecome the subject of discussion gress, we may have very important in the Panama congress, and we interests connected with it; and it are called upon for an explicit de- is our duty to be represented there claration of our views. If this by some accredited agent. He had been asked in a special mes- was not tenacious as to the form sage, we could not refuse it. It is of this mission. The executive not now asked here, but it is to be has recommended a particular asked at Panama ; and you are form, and the senate has confirmrequired to send ministers to an- ed it. He did mean, therefore, swer it : and it, therefore, becomes to object to the form ; but he us as much to deliberate upon the wished to call the attention of the the subject, as if the question house, to the subjects to be diswere directly put to themselves. cussed at the Panama congress. He did not mean to go into a mi- Mr. M’Lane then quoted from the nute investigation. The view he message of the president some proposed to take, superseded the passages, stating the objects of the necessity of that ; but he wished mission, and proceeded.

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